World Series of Comedy 2012

by Brian McKim & Traci Skene on September 23rd, 2012

It’s over! The winner of the 2012 World Series of Comedy is… Landry! The one-named, Atlanta-based comedian beat out Tyler Boeh and Alycia Cooper in the finals last night at the Tuscany Suites Hotel, bringing the six-day competition to a close. Did we get a picture of the winner? Er… Uh… no. We will run a pic from Tanyalee Davis‘ Facebook feed:

That’s Tanyalee on the left. Landry on the right. Tanyalee was passing through town on the way to the San Francisco International Comedy Competition. (That’s going on this week through October 6.)

By all accounts, the WSOC was a smashing success. Landry won the top spot among the comedians. And the Tuscany won high marks from all the attendees. (This year was the first year that the WSOC was held at the new venue. When WSOC Commissioner Joe Lowers moved his show from the Alexis Park to the Tuscany earlier this year, the World Series naturally came with him.)

That’s the Commish. Snapped just outside the T-Spot, the showroom where it “all went down.”

It’s been some time since the “Fryers Club” (sic) has been held in Vegas. That’s the informal gathering of comics that occurred weekly here in the desert over the past couple of years. All local comics– and any comics visiting town– were encouraged to attend. It’s been moribund for the past few months for a number of reasons, and has occurred only sporadically. This week, it happened over several nights, at the Tuscany, as several visiting comedians– Mike Saccone, Larry “Bubbles” Brown and Paul Ogata among them– joined some of the late-night, post-WSOC gatherings at the bars inside and outside the T-Spot. And Lowers created laminated passes for many of the local (or “resident”) Las Vegas comedians.

Left to right: Traci Skene, Brian Mckim, Amy Pittle (Big Al’s Comedy Club, Orleans), Mellisa Vacariello, Greg Vacariello

The Male Half participated (all-too-briefly, as he is a terrible poker player) in the WSOC Poker Tournament, held Friday afternoon at the Tuscany. But he had a splendid time working all week at the new Laugh Factory at the Tropicana alongside Judy Tenuta.

That’s a photograph of the DiamondVision marquee outside the Trop. That the Male Half’s name, in letter several feet high. (It’s running over a Judy Tenuta music video but the “shutter speed” of the Female Half’s Droid 3 makes it look like it’s been through a Cuisinart.)

We always marvel at the bonding that goes on at these affairs. When you consider that, out of about 150 comics that show up (of which 101 actually compete), only one “wins,” the real benefit of such gatherings is a crazy, alcohol-fueled stew of networking, bonding and debauchery that takes place, day and night, that starts on Monday afternoon and roars on for five more days. Many of those in attendance will forge enduring relationships over bowling, poker, steak and eggs, $1.50 Fosters and impromptu treks to any of a number of comedy venues throughout LV.

There’s “industry” in attendance– and that’s important… and a lot of business cards get swapped. (And it’s surprising that there isn’t more. Agents and managers are always bellyaching about seeing the same people over and over again at the major fests. And they’re always bellyaching about how all those same acts are already nailed down by this agent or that manager. But this is a “fest” (technically, a competition, not a fest) that is not yet “corrupted” by agents and managers– there’s a lot of talent that is hungry and unrepresented. You would think they’d flock here. Throw in the backdrop of Vegas and it’s a wonder the comics aren’t outnumbered by industry types!)

We’ll be there next year.

Check out our our 2010 WSOC coverage.